Communication pitfalls in struggling teams

by Directioneering

One of the most important skills a leader contributes to an organisation is the ability to communicate.  Every day, leaders communicate with the management team, clients and prospects, and within their own team. Effective communication can determine the success or failure of an organisation.

Through our executive coaching practice and leadership development programs, we have extensive experience improving communication among leaders and their teams.  Below are a few examples of poor communication frequently found in struggling teams. 

Communication pitfalls

Implied expectations 

Some managers fall into a habit of expecting their team members to read their minds.  Expectations and outcomes should be clearly outlined to allow employees to operate at their highest potential.  By taking the time to outline goals and expectations a manager also allows employees to ask clarifying questions and get everyone on the same page. 

Lack of upward feedback 

Occasionally employees find it difficult to express their thoughts to management.  As the frontline, employees have valuable perspectives and input to provide.  If there is a lack of trust between managers and employees, the employee may not feel comfortable enough to provide much needed input. 

Meeting fatigue 

In a case of overcommunication, employees’ time is misspent with countless hours in meetings. Meetings are important in aligning a team but be sure they are run with an agenda and clear goals.  Participants should walk away from a meeting with a clear understanding of what their role is and what the next steps are. If meetings are run without clear intention, they become a burden instead of a benefit. 

Lack of individual feedback 

Especially in younger generations, consistent personal feedback is highly valued. Waiting for quarterly or annual reviews to check in on an employee’s progress can cause disconnection. Frequent communication leads to better onthejob performance and a more engaged employee. Constant and regular interaction helps cut off problems before they progress and encourages positive behaviour. 

Conflict avoidance 

A team, by definition, consists of multiple members, each with their own thoughts and personalities. Similar to providing upward feedback, teammates should be able to provide each other with dissenting opinions. By exploring new ideas and evaluating alternative approaches, teams become stronger and produce better results. 

A team with strong communication skills is proven to be more efficient and drive significantly better resuts than teams that are confused and unable to coordinate properly. We use a variety of assessments to get to the heart of a team’s communication issues.  Once the problem is diagnosed, our expert coaches craft a customised solution to eliminate the weakness and get the team on the right track.  With improved communication comes stronger returns, a more engaged workforce, and a more achievement-oriented workplace. 

 This article was originally published by Career Partners International. Directioneering is a member of the Career Partners International network. Find out more about CPI here.